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VaGent's '84 JC Pontoon Rebuild

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VaGent View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 10:38am
In April 2010 I bought a "very used & neglected" 1984 24ft JC pontoon boat that I found on Craigslist that was located about 60 miles from where I live. There was no motor or trailer which was what I was looking for & the price was right for what I wanted to spend. The main thing I was interested in were the condition of the logs & the frame which as it turned out where in great shape. Very few scratches on the logs & I found one very small dent on the inside of the starboard log which one has to get under the boat & look hard to find it. So....I borrowed a friends trailer & brought it home & my wife thought I had lost what little bit of sense I had left.  LOL I proceeded to strip it down to the bare frame & then I started a complete total rebuild. With lots of reading, talking to others, taking many pictures of other people's pontoons PLUS looking at all the new ones on the market & LOTS of help from guys on a forum I was on at the time, I turned this pontoon into a very enjoyable FAMILY CRUISER & had a lot of fun doing it. PLUS I learned the hard way what BOAT actually means in everyday plain ENGLISH. Clap

I built the helm myself out of AZEK which is a PVC lumber that I found out about. It works just like regular wood but is completely waterproof, can be glued & screwed together, can be painted or left natural. Expensive to buy ($140.00) a 3/4"X4'X8' sheet but well worth it as it will outlast me I'm sure. The one built that follows in the pics is not the one that I have on the pontoon at present. I bought a used one made of the same material only larger from Charles as it was bigger & I liked the looks of it. I drove a total of 1230 miles (round trip) so I MUST have liked it a lot.LOL I was going to be in the area anyway for other business so I combined business with some horse trading with Charles. I bought a new 2010 Road King tandem axles trailer as well a new 2011 Evinrude E-Tech 90 hp engine. Everything is brand new on the pontoon from the deck all the way to the Sunbrella cloth top. I install new wiring, new batteries, trolling motor with remote control, new gauges, steering system & the list goes on & on. I enjoyed building this pontoon boat more then anything else I have ever rebuilt other then the '55, '56', 57' & 1960 Chevys I had at one time in my life. I've always enjoyed rebuilding things rather than taking them to the junk yard.

After completing the pontoon I decided to install a rear sundeck with porti potti enclosure for the lady folk. I also added a new charging system that automatically keeps both the house battery & the engine battery charged when out on the water. I use a separate battery that is isolated from all other electrical components for the trolling motor that I keep charged using a solar powered on-board charger that works well. Complete stereo system with XM satellite radio/mp3 player is installed with waterproof speakers. I also under skinned it from bow to stern. I'm in the process now of installing new guide boards on the trailer as it came with 4 vertical PVC covered posts from the factory that just don't do the job I was expecting. Just waiting for warmer weather to complete those & then I hope(?) I'll be totally finished with everything but I'm sure I will find something else that I want to do. LOL One year to the day that I finished the pontoon other then the sun deck I added, I had my first heart attack on Christmas Eve Dec 2010. Lucky for me & the fact I had a great doctor I have recovered but have to "pay attention" & take some meds for the rest of  my lief but hey, I'm still looking DOWN at the grass instead of looking UP at it so that means a lot to me & my family. Enough about me so I will try to post the pics & explain what I was doing in them at the time.









Edited by VaGent - Jan 28 2013 at 12:21pm
1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 10:55am
I wanted to remove the transom from it's original position in order to use the entire deck for more space so I decided to relocate it further rearward. Since it was "framed in" from the factory I had to remove all the original framing & replace it with new "Z" bar. I found "Z" bar on Craigslist that was of heavier gauge than what the factory had used which was 2"X2"X1/8" & I used 2"X2"X3/32" 6061T aluminum. I bolted the transom to the new "Z" bar & relocated it a total of 17" from its original position. I actually gained a used 28" overall by doing this. I used all SS bolts, washers & locking type nuts & added 2 on each side just to make sure for strength. I also  made a new transom "board" by laminating 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood together & then applied 4 coats of fiberglass resin to seal it all in hopes of making it last a long time. I had to have to welds repaired as they had started to "split" about 1/4" inch on each side of the transom. The transom is rated for a 115 hp engine but I have no doubts mine will hold up fine using the E-Tech 90.

















1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 11:05am
These are pics where I completely high pressure washed the entire frame & logs using "pink" a/c coil cleaner "full strength. Being a retired electrician/ac repair tech I KNEW the pink would do the best job. One just has to be mindful when using it "full strength" as it is very dangerous to ones skin & health. I did not have to "hand scrub" anything other then a couple of places on the cross members. Spray it on. let it foam for a while then "thoroughly" wash it off then wash it off again. YES, it WILL kill flowers & grass so be careful where you use this stuff. It it NOT for sale "over the counter" to the general public in most places. One must posses a CFC certificate to buy it unless you have a "friend" who can get it for you but it works better then anything I've ever used on aluminum.






And this shows the new deck which I used a self adhering rubber on top of the cross member to insulate the plywood decking from the aluminum & provided a "seal" where the plywood sheets meet on top of the cross members. You can buy this from the owners of this site as well as everything else you might need to rebuild your pontoon boat. If you can't find it on their web page give them a call. I'm sure they help you with whatever you are needing.
1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 11:11am
I needed a shelter to protect me from the sun as the summer of 2010 was one of the hottest one record in over 30 yrs for my area. We where in a terrible drought mode & saw 45 days back to back with temps in the low 90s to over 102 on several days. I got this at a local store (HB) that is also nation wide. You can find one in your area I'm sure.



I also installed temporary lights in the canopy so I could work on it at night when the temps during the daytime where just too much to contend with. I'm NOT 20 yrs old anymore & this old tired body can't handle the heat like it once did. Angry

1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 11:20am
Here you can see the new carpet & the lounge seats my wife & I decided on using. Since we are "die hard UNC fans" we wanted to show our "colors" for our team. Wink Our grand daughter's name is Carolina so we named out pontoon "CAROLINA LUV". If it makes the wife is happy then I am tickled to death.












My 2002 Dodge Ram is in the background which does a good job pulling my pontoon boat.

1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 11:24am
Here a a few pics of the home built helm which I later changed out to a larger one that suits me better the I got from Charles. He & I love to sell & trade. LOL









1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 11:35am
Here are a few  of the sundeck that I designed & had welded together. I used my "chop saw" with a carbide blade to accurately cut all the 1-1/4" SQ aluminum tubing that I bought at a local aluminum supply company.







The picture directly above is what it looked like before I decide to go with the rear sundeck. The "wooden" frame under the porti potti was replaced with one I made using AZEK lumber. With lots of careful measuing & planning & drinking "lemonade" it actually worked out pretty good the "first time" without having to go back & make corrections. I'm pleased with the results. I will be covering the fence with vinyl that I purchased locally & will attach it with SS pop rivets or flat head SS screws. I have a pneumatic pop rivet tool so I might use that. Still trying to decide which to use right now. The sun deck cushions are hinged using SS hinges along with safety straps if they happen fly up while traveling the highway. I'm planning on using a simple "spring bolt" under the seats that will fasten into the fence tubing itself to prevent that from happening. 

1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 11:44am
Here's a few pics of the family enjoying the boat for the very first time on it's "shake down cruise".
Everything worked great with no problems except the "used" 1884 Johnson VRO 70 hp engine I had at the time. Come to find out it was (like me" worn out so we decided to put a new engine on the boat & that was the best decision we ever made. The E-Tech 90 is so quiet I have to listen to make sure it's running. Plenty of power for what we want to do with the boat & economical too. I had 11 people on board in these pictures along with a "boat load" of food, drinks & gas & I cruised at 3800 RPMs & my speed by GPS was 16 mph. That might be slow to some but to us it was just right. I "need for speed" has got up & gone a long time ago. Clap














1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 12:00pm
I've added a few items since these pictures where taken & my work has been slowed due to the heart attack I had & the weather but things are coming along nicely. I added a Hummingbird 597ci HD DI fisher/depth finder, mood lights throughout the boat, docking lights, boarding ladder on the bow that folds away when not in use, ship to shore emergency radio & am in the process of getting the I-Command gauge like Rick has on his boat. I LIKE that system a lot as it tells me everything I would like to know when out on the water with the family. I"m a STRONG believe in SAFETY so everyone aboard can have a good time. I am also installing back up lights on my trailer to make it so much easier to back my boat into my driveway which is 275 long. When it's dark is a BEAR to back it that far.

Hope everyone enjoys reading about my rebuild & if anyone would like to know anything in more detail I will be happy to answer any questions. As I was a member of another site that Charles & Rick where on as well as others I was invited to join this site & I can say I LIKE it a LOT. Great bunch of guys who are willing to help anyway they can & are very knowledgeable when it comes to boating & pontoons. I've not purchased anything from the site's owners but I WILL be in the very bear future. Waiting on WARMER weather & hitting the lottery so I can Bring On Another Thousand. Clap
1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rickdb1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 12:25pm
Great write up Les. You did a great job on your rebuild. You should be proud, as that's no east task.Thumbs UpThumbs UpThumbs Up
Rick

2007 Bentley 200 Cruise
2007 90 HP Mercury 4 stroke


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 12:52pm
Yep, that is a great rebuild.  And moving the transom aft on that boat was especially good.  Very well done Les.  Clap Clap Clap
Mike

1987 Lowes Fish and Fun 20ft
1999 Merc 50hp 4 strk big foot
Kirksville, Mo
P3C Orion Pilot
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 1:16pm
Thanks guys, it was a "labor or love" for sure. Not sure if I'll ever get totally done with working on it but I guess that is part of the FUN of owning a boat isn't it? LOL
1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toonrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:53pm
Les you have that boat looking nice! All the hard work definitely paid off, and that is one sweet looking motor on it also. Hey, I wander if them little solar lights would help if placed on each side of the drive for backing up at night? They may not give off a whole lot of light, but they would give you an idea of the edges and maybe help guide you in.
Randy
2008 SunTracker 190
2008 Mercury 60hp Bigfoot
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Retired AirForce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 3:23pm
toonrider, between you and Les, I just got the craziest idea I think I've ever had regarding backup lights.  You're gonna think I'm crazy I know but I just figured out how to get MORE backup light at the rear of a toon. Les is already talking about the backup lights like I have on my bass boat trailer (and I documented how its done and where to get the best price on them). I got another set I'll eventually do on my pontoon trailer BUT we all know lots of lights does help. Solar lamps along a driveway is very helpful, but I have a bad tendency to run over stuff when I cut grass, plus my driveway is gravel and to park my toon, its a kinda of an S type turn, only much sharper (3 90 degree angles just to line it up for the canopy). 

My next little project will (YES again) will involve taking these lights





and mount a set in the rear rub rail or in the rear fence area. These lights can serve 2 purposes. As your rear anchor light AND as your backup lights on the trailer.

The wiring would be crazy but it WILL work. You just splice into your anchor wire for the anchor light like normal. BUT also wire a pigtail connection to it to run to the front area of the boat. The length of the lead will depend. When not in use it will coil up into whatever area you have up front for storage OR, have it coiled up on a release of sometype. You if you have reverse lights wired in the trailer, still no problem, splice into it and have a pigtail that the pigtail from the boat would plug into. Those lights I posted are $18 ea from ebay, not including the chrome rings ($2 more). So $40 for the trailer and 40 for the toon and you're very well LIT up.

I bet not many of you have thought about the wireless backup cameras. This too will work and will work very well with the backup lights. I've been thinking about this for a while and for $100 bucks, the unit can be mounted to the boat aft, no more depending on a guide who isn't positioned to see both sides, its another set of eyes. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 03 2015 at 9:30am
I just wired mine up using my Silverado factory plug for the trailer. I installed 4 18 LED units I got from a trailer dealer on closeout for a total of $88.00. They light up my driveway (275ft long) like daylight. I have to back my boat in as I don't have room to turn my trailer to get the boat under my canopy. The worse part is getting the trailer lined up with my driveway as I only have a 12' wide entrance & the roadway is narrow too. It takes some maneuvering to get it lined up before I can back it up the entire distance. The new bright backup lights sure makes it easy now.
 
1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote AirForce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 03 2015 at 10:15pm
about time you showed up around here LOL
Charles
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CajunDiver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 04 2015 at 11:17pm
Look what the dogs drug up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 19 2015 at 10:02pm
Hey everyone. Hope all is well. Been a while but I'm back.   Bought me a new "used" Bass Tracker Bass boat & trying to fix it up the way I want it.

1984 JC Pontoon 24ft
2011 90hp E-Tech
1993 Voyager 24 ft
2006 90 hp E-Tech
1997 Bass Tracker Pro 170
1997 Mercury Force 40 hp
2010 Silverado Quad Cab
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jesse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2016 at 7:31pm
like to know if u still have that pontoon transom for sale and if so how much and will u ship it to me jesse
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AirForce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2016 at 11:24pm
I'll contact him via facebook as he may not be monitoring like he use to to check this post.
Charles
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